No More Tours!!! – New Focus on the Website = Food+ and Beer+ Reviews

Why?!

Why would you stop the dream job?!

You get to go around and take people to restaurants, eat tasty food, drink tons of beer and other liquor, and at the end, you make a couple hundred bucks!!!

Sounds like the dream, right?

Well… to tell the truth, I’m just goddamn tired.

There’s been countless groups, bachelor parties, brewery heavy tours, a few all-nighters, crazy fucking stories with people from all over the world, copious amounts of delicious food and late night street tacos, appeared in a couple of TV shows, and other broadcasts (and a disastrous one), and a lot of other crazy things happened in my tours.

The stories I tell.

The crazy South Africans.

How incredibly cheap Tijuana can be for some people.

Vegas on steroids.

And a tour guide in Vegas is going to get tired… in Tijuana… I’m surprised I lasted this long.


Other tour guides hire other people to handle some tours… but without me… Tijuana Adventure wouldn’t be the same. Or so it feels like that.

My friend Haydee helped for a while and I am forever grateful. She did a couple of art tours and a wine valley tour.

My friend Bryan wants to be the new tour guide, and for people asking for a tour, besides recommending all the other tour guides, I’ll mention my friend Bryan.

He is a good kid. But he is a kid.


Another reason for quitting.

I got somewhat of a real job. It still not completely real, but good enough to not seek out the extra cash on tours.

Well… when I think about it… yeah… that extra cash is super nice still.


I’m just a bit tired man.

I said I was quitting on my last few tours and still kept going.

Give me a year or so. Perhaps less. Who knows. But give me some time and I’ll be back with something better. More exclusive.

AND MORE EXPENSIVE!

Sorry.

It’s just… trust me. It will be awesome.


No more strip clubs.

Can’t do those anymore.


Instead of tours, the website will be dedicated for me to write stupid shit about food and beer!

You see… I used to write my opinions a lot but suddenly stopped because of creative differences with the editor. That editor is now gone. But I still don’t want to jump through hoops of an editor to say whatever the fuck I want.

YAY!

I get to say the word fuck.

How edgy and cool of me.


So what can you expect?

Quality pictures and my stupid opinions!

Here’s an example of the latest.


Haven’t been to the enchilado gods in a while, I forgot what I was missing…
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My friend Danger Dave took me to Los Compadres for the first time a few years ago. He guaranteed that they had the best camarón enchilado taco (spicy shrimp), better than Tijuana favorite El Mazateño.
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I have since gone to Los Compadres almost every week for the past couple of years for that very same taco. If I upload a picture to social media, I get flooded with questions as to where to find this taco (and many jealous comments). Here’s the answer:
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You find Los Compadres next to Parque Teniente Guerrero at the corner of 4th street and Cinco de Mayo. Open 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, except Sundays. They start running out of shrimp around 1 p.m., so you need to get there early. They also serve fish and shrimp tacos (with or without batter), caldo de cahuamanta (stingray broth), marlin tacos, and more.
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All of their tacos are big. The battered fish and shrimp tacos are nothing to rave about and sell for around $1 each. They deep fry longer than usual, making the batter dark and crunchy. I prefer that type of taco light and crisp, so for battered fish and shrimp tacos I go to a nearby food truck.

Their caldo de cahuamanta they recommend for hangovers, especially if you add a spoonful of their very spicy salsa. It will sweat your hangover away, and Los Compadres will turn a blind eye if want to drink a Tecate at their taco stand. Their marlin taco is decent and similar to what you would find at any other taco stand that sells marlin.

Definitely the MVP and the main reason to go is the camarón enchilado. I could write a love song about this taco. It’s gigantic, greasy, has lots of melted cheese that gets burnt around the crust of the tortilla, and is loaded with a lot of flash-fried shrimp that was dunked in buttery chili sauce. It is topped (all optional) with cream, cabbage, tomato, cilantro, and chipotle sauce. It’s a complex and messy item to pick up and eat.

It’s not just me that has been addicted to these shrimp tacos. My friend Erik Trejo, who worked at Blind Lady Ale House, would regularly cross the border early morning just to eat the taco and head back north to work. The painful wait of crossing the border wasn’t enough to dissuade him.

Another friend who teaches English in Saudi Arabia stayed in my apartment for a month last summer. He ate two tacos de camarón enchilado every morning for his entire stay. He still randomly messages me that he misses the taco.

And it’s not just my friends. I have also bumped into owner of Baja-Med restaurant La Justina, Javier Cair, at Los Compadres. A former neighbor of mine, a white guy that partied too much, would take hordes of Americans and Europeans for that taco and kept the party going while drinking Tecate on the street.

None of the ingredients are gourmet or fancy. It’s a dirty fish taco truck just like the Tijuana Gods intended, and they happen to serve the best camarón enchilado taco I have ever tasted. They have a tip jar in form of a Tecate bottle. Drop some coins in when you are done with your meal and shout “por la causa!” Which means “for the cause,” the cause being to buy more Tecate.


That was actually an old article I wrote here. But they will follow a similar pattern and around that many words.

Just a bit more word vomity.


Most pictures will be taken with the iPhone X which is superb and posts will be posted in the Tijuana Adventure Instagram and Facebook pages. Pick whatever social media poison suits you best.

Then the posts will be later posted here. If there was a way for WordPress to simply post directly, that would be great. Alas, there is not.


Other pictures will be taken with my actual camera (Canon 7D for now). That’s the other job I’ve been also doing a lot.

I never really wanted to be a tour guide. This city needed one. I fulfilled my duty.

I can go back to photography work. Writing work. And now more work.


Tijuana Adventure will remain a hobby of food and beer reviewing.

I’ll try to be as honest as one can be without much hyperbole. Re-reading what I wrote about the sushi place sounds a tad exaggerated, but I meant every word. That place is fantastic and can’t wait till I’ll be back.


Both, Instagram and Facebook, pages grow by themselves without my need to sponsor them. And it’s stupid, now that I don’t do tours, I feel like throwing a couple dollars over to Zuckerberg and the social media void. At the same time, the real challenge is to grow those fuckers organically.


Oh.

And Reddit karma.


I basically promote and defend the fuck out of this city for free. They should pay me for it.

And somehow they do. Tijuana rewards me.

Tijuana has been good to me.


I might also get back into booking math rock shows. Hopefully, playing music again.


You see, it’s always been in this order:

I am a musician, writer, photographer, videogamer, and tour guide.

That last one was an additional one. It’s fun to be one and I’m very good at it. But it’s not my passion. It was paying me.

Video games I fucking adore and they had paid me for it in a few occasions (game tester for a couple of Guitar Heroes as well as the Transformers game and other little shitty things here and there). That doesn’t pay me now, but I still love it more than being a tour guide.


Writer and photographer right now are competing for which one makes more money.

They are sort of equal.

Some weeks I make more money writing. Some weeks I make more money doing photography.


Music is what I’ve always loved but has been a forgotten lover lately. I’ve been playing more guitar and a bit more inspired. So I need more time for this.


It’s the end of an era!

Thanks to everyone that came on an adventure with me. It’s been real. I seriously loved every single one of them except two.


And you all know this…

If you ever back in Tijuana, and I’m available. Just buy me a beer and let’s hang out. I like talking about all the new shit that the city has been going through and new places where to eat and drink!

I made friends with most of you. And I’m sorry if I don’t remember all of you clearly… it’s been a lot of tours. And they all blur into one crazy huge mega tour.


Oh. And one more reason to do this silliness. Last year I wrote more than 1,000 words a day but it was all about my personal life. Well, now it will be just about this. Keep my personal life out of this for a while (though I give 0 fucks).

And also. Because there are a lot of shitty people that do this and are no good. I feel like I’m better. So what?

I’m doing it for fun. Not for you. More for like myself and Tijuana. If you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. I probably don’t agree with you!


Thanks for reading and hope y’all enjoy a silly blog of food and drinks in this marvelous city. Let’s see how long this project will last…

 

Tijuana Adventures Featured in TravelMag.com – Sorry, This Has Been Sort Of Abandoned – Tours are Still Active

Ahoy! To all of those who stumbled into this page of Tijuana tours and adventures.

The blog has pretty much been abandoned for more than a couple of months. Things that I said I would fill in later, I never did. And ideas that I have never materialized.

Despite the page being virtually abandoned, a writer from TravelMag.com found me. And he had something wonderful to say about the tours.

Here’s the link to the article, or click the screencap.


Thanks to writer Paul Joseph for the mention.


So… why so abandoned?

Your tour guide has been busy with photography and writing. I’ve been writing every day the whole year in my own personal blog that I dubbed word vomit because I pretty much write about everything and anything. I also started a new gig as a freelance photographer for the magazine that usually runs my articles. So I’ve been pretty busy with other things that aren’t my tours.


Despite this, I have had several tours since the latest post.


And also, paid for the yearly subscription of this webpage. It was done automatically. I’m not sure if I actually wanted to do it.


Shit.

My latest post was from February…


I had around eight tours since then. Very sporadic and random tours. The latest was a repeat customer with new friends. A guy from Vancouver (with Moroccan family) brought two friends from Kosovo (but that grew up in Vancouver).

It was really fun times since the last time the repeat customer visited was a couple of years ago and a lot of things changed.

And a lot of things have changed with Tijuana Adventure as well.


Though I had the fantasy to make this into a food and beer blog, I’ve been too busy to keep that going.

However, I did start becoming very active on Instagram posting a lot of food porn.

If there was a way to post everything on my Instagram directly to WordPress, this page wouldn’t be totally abandoned.


So if you enjoy pictures of the Tijuana/San Diego reader, better follow me! It’s been a steady climb of followers. Easier than my actual profile @Matingas_

Repsonse has been good with the food pics. And it’s given me an outlet to write about food.


I also did business cards for myself and for this business.

They look like this.

Yes.

Exclusive tours.

I don’t do private groups and most people that know me have heard of me somehow, so they know what to expect.

So I’m more exclusive now. You get a tour with a photographer, writer, and musician with SHIT TONS of stories to tell. And that’s really what makes the tours special. They are small. I get to talk to everyone. I get to tell stories. We get to know each other.

So again.

My tours aren’t like other tours.

Go to the other tours if you want a basic (yet very fun) tour.


And finally.

I’m still working with Haydee if I ever need a replacement, or if I’m not available, or if people want to go to Valle de Guadalupe. She’s more knowledgeable about the wine valley than me. And she could also drive people there.

Basically, Haydee is still IN doing tours as needed.

I wish I had more tours for her. I wished I had more tours for myself. But life gets busy with other things and then time flies.


 

Tours! TOURS! Tours! – Tijuana Adventure Activate! – Julie’s Bday Tour a Month Ago…

This webpage and blog has been somewhat abandoned.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been given tours.

Quite the contrary. I was busy with tours all of January. February is going slow, but March will already start with a tour.

The tour above was super fun and probably one where I walked the most. We walked and walked and walked. I offered Ubers or taxis. But they wanted to walk.

nsudmux

This is what a Tijuana Adventure usually looks like. A lot of food and beer and fun times.

And I’m sorry I rarely update the blog. I write in my life blog daily. Which is completely different.

Besides Julie’s bday tour, I also had a tour with a couple of crazy South Africans.

I have never partied in my life as much as I did with those South Africans. They showed me that I truly have no limits when it comes to my Tijuana tours. We spend so much money drinking, eating, … and more.


It is time to make my tours a bit more official. There needs to be an online payment method. There needs to be a public tour at least once a month. I have been doing my tours mostly as a side gig for fun. Not as a real business. But Tijuana Adventure has grown and it is time to take it a bit more seriously.

Even the US consul in Tijuana emailed me asking me about how to improve tourism.

More tours are coming.

More public events.

The page will get better.

The Tijuana Adventure Instagram will also be active…. if I remember the password.


A very good friend of mine named Brenda, aka Shappu, has also been doing tours. She is going her own way about it. Truly puts effort in giving people tours. Unlike me where I just wait for people to email me and tell me they want to book me. If I pushed my services. Get business cards. Do some posters… etc etc etc. Then it would truly be a tour service.


For now, I’m busy with writing stories, my new girlfriend, daily blog, and my cat. Tours are still available. Tours are still highly improvised. Tours are still hella fun.


I forgot where I was going with this. Point is. Tijuana Adventure will activate! More tours! Better tours! Online payments! Other tour guides! More beer! More food! MORE MORE MORE!

Want to visit Tijuana. Hit me up!

A New Tijuana Adventure Year – What’s 2017 for TJ Adventure

Ahhhh!!

The beginning of 2016 I wanted to take Tijuana Adventure into a whole new direction. I wanted it to be an open source for Tijuanenses write about their favorite place and stuff like that and for them to give their own tours. You know. Get more people involved, make the website grow, and for them to make money as well.

It went nowhere.

Well… Except Haydee. She did a couple of tours last year. I did a bunch of others.

In fact, I had two great tours on December. A couple of Aussies, and a medium/psychic from Oregon.

There is nothing new for this year. I write daily on my blog. But that’s about my life, not really about Tijuana.

I thought about quitting Tijuana Adventure many times. But people keep contacting me for a tour, and I keep having a fun time with strangers. The extra cash is always welcome.

So Tijuana Adventure will remain improvised private tours by yours truly (and sometimes Haydee). I know if I actually posted anything on Instagram. Or if I posted more in here. Or if I truly tried to organize monthly beer tours. I know I would go somewhere. But that I have had the option to do that and have done nothing is pretty obvious that I am not meant to keep a tour guide business going. I do a lot of other things on a daily basis. The tours are just an extra thing I do for fun, that I also do for extra cash, but I mainly due for the love of this city.

Improvisation is the name of the game. My game.

This website still continues to have way more hits than my actual blog and it has next to 0 activity. Sorry about that. If you are reading this and want to know more about me, there’s my other blog. If you want to have a tour with me because it seems like we will get along, then please contact me.

Otherwise. There are tons of other tour guides for you.

Tijuana Adventure basically means tours with Matingas (or Haydee).

Happy new year Tijuana!

Let’s hope for many , but not too many tours!

Changes Are Coming – Tijuana Adventure Is Not About Tours No More

So….

I haven’t posted in this blog in ages. I have been posting on my regular blog of Matingas.com every Monday of every week. The idea now is that I will post in Tijuana Adventure every Tuesday of every week and also maybe make a weekly podcast. What am I going to post about? Well… about my Tijuana Adventures! I have invited other friends/writers to do the same.

I also created a couple logos yesterday. I am not a designer or a webmaster, so bare with me as changes to the page are made slowly.
Option 1:
new logoOption 2:new logo?

^or something similar. I might talk to friends to make an actual new logo.

Now tours…

I’ve been doing a lot of tours and I am a bit tired of them. Not because I do not enjoy them, but because my inability to run a business. I never like to charge my clients, because most of them turn to friends a short time into the tour. I always feel like I am robbing them, even though I know I am providing a service. It happened the same way when I was teaching guitar, I had a few students, and I always felt weird charging them since I had fun teaching. They always paid me extra (even gave me gifts), but felt so strange to make money from something I enjoy.

I am also very bad at organizing events and trying to make a large group happen. I always knew I didn’t want to do large tours anyway, I hate being a shepherd of drunks. I rather know everyone personally and give more than just follow me to random places. Also, I hate cancellations. They ruin my plan for the day. If I am not doing tours in Tijuana, I am working on freelance writing mostly for the San Diego Reader.

For that reason, tours are going to be sidelined. The intention of this page is to act like a guide for those that do not know Tijuana. Not only for foreigners, but for locals. New places open every week and there is almost no one covering them (especially for beer). I know there aren’t many outlets out there for me to write about beer, so I decided to make this blog active and for the tours to be secondary.

I will still be giving tours, I’ll just be way more picky. New rule as well, $100 gets you my attention for 6+ hours, everything else is extra. I will try to get this as a paypal or other sort of payment, to make sure cancellations don’t become the norm.

This summer the webpage and myself will be doing a lot of changes.

Expect this page to become more active as a blog. Sharing information of new breweries, restaurants, concerts, culture, border life and more!

—Matingas

It’s been a year of Tijuana Adventure and there’s much more to come!

Tijuana Adventure turns one year old
It has been a wild ride. I have met people from Canada, Australia, UK, Argentina and all over the USA. I had 5 adventures for the past two weeks and I am booked for the next weekends. Apparently I’ve been recommended on TripAdvisor which has helped on getting a few more adventurers. I haven’t really made money from my tours and I don’t really care. From the start my tours have been heavily improvised, going to places I like and having a lot of fun with incredible awesome “clients,” many that have become friends (and now I have a place to stay in several cities).
Don’t be a tourist, party with a local.

With Aussies
With Aussies at Playas

I spent Sunday and Monday (of the last week of August) with 3 Australians going from taco shop to bar, rinse and repeat. It was awesome times. I’ve been spending every weekend with a different group of people for the past month or more.

My main focus has always been to get people comfortable with Tijuana so they can come back without any assistance. This is a huge complicated city that many fear, but in reality it is one of the most fun and diverse cities (if you know your way around). The direction of TJ adventure is changing, not sure what to, but it has to evolve.
Tours will be free of charge as long as the group is paying for my food/drinks, I’ll take you anywhere your heart desires (tipping your tour guide is encouraged…). Events will happen once a month if possible. With many side jobs besides being a tour guide, I am keeping TJ adventure as casual as I can.
TJ adventure is your opportunity to tour the city with a journalist for the San Diego Reader, who also happens to be a musician and a photographer (that’s me). Contact me to set up a tour and let’s have fun!

Independence Day in TJ: Fifth wheeling an adventure during America’s birthday

“It might be a little odd, but my girlfriend and I are coming down to TJ on July 4th, maybe with a couple of friends.”

I received an email from a client that saw a post of mine on Reddit asking for a tour. This was right after dealing with another TJ Adventure that will involve the wineries on Valle de Guadalupe (for July 19th and I’m so excited about it!)

“Got nothing going on this Friday, if you want to play it by ear, let’s do this! A friend of my roommate and his girlfriend (that has never been in TJ) are staying in my apartment, you don’t mind if they come over do you?” – I replied to the email.

I met the redditor and his girlfriend (who met on Match.com) on the border  a bit after 11:30 am after some mix-up about the meeting spot. His “maybe” friends never made it, they told me that their friends think they are crazy for visiting Tijuana.

We headed to La Corriente Cevicheria Naiz for some fish tacos and ceviche tostadas where we met with the other couple. A cute couple moment happened when both the guys ordered the same thing and the girls did the same almost in a mirror image.

From there, we did the classic TJ Adventure downtown walk around, which involves Zona Norte, art walk, breweries, stopped by some of the oldest bars in Tijuana (where we watched the World Cup) and other destinations.

The cute couples walking through Pasaje Rodríguez
The cute couples walking through Pasaje Rodríguez

We walked back to the border at 5:30 pm to a very busy border crossing line. After spending the day drinking in Tijuana, they still wanted to make it back in time for the fireworks to celebrate America’s birthday. I, in the other hand, went to pass out from all the day drinking and all the fun.

Tijuana Adventure is getting more emails everyday, but my other jobs keep me very busy. This page will be updated, reformatted soon and will be getting more action!

Three completely different adventures in one week. Beer fest tour up next!

Tijuana Adventure hasn’t really been my priority that of late. I was too busy with all the other pretend jobs I have to really work on givings tours. But last week was a busy one. First, my friend (Waves) and his wife (Betty) from LA, who canceled on me twice before, finally made it down to TJ. They needed to come down to TJ this time looking to save money on medicinal goods. Instead of paying $350 for Betty’s inhaler, they paid $35…

They saved hundreds of dollars, which meant they have plenty of money to spend. We ate in Playas at Hunab-Ku, where they serve vegetarian tacos. Spent some time in downtown and drank at Mamut Brewery. Unfortunately, they had to leave early back to LA and by 5:00 pm on Wednesday they headed back.

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On Friday, I was supposed to host two girls via Couchsurfing. But they also had to leave early and did not spend the night. They already had a host and a guide, but I decided to join them for some time at the beach. We hung out for a couple of hours and for a while, I showed them the Tijuana I know (and I ate a lot of food!). Unfortunately, they also could not spend the night and left early, but they seemed extremely satisfied with the city.

genieve

And finally on Saturday….

A group of adventurers who have been to many places in Baja before but never in Tijuana, that group of friends that likes to go new places and try everything once (they even ate crickets). They contacted me via Reddit, thus they got the Reddit discount of $5 per person. A lovely group of people who I had a blast with.

We met at the US border at 4:00 pm. Started drinking at Mamut by 5:00 pm, at around 6:30 pm dinner and more drinks at La Corriente (Cevicheria Nais). Downtown happened to have a lowrider and motorcycle show (it happens once a month). More drinks at La Mezcalera. Last stop before the border was bar Zacazonopan, but 10:00 pm came too early so they stayed for a couple more drinks, more tacos and finally got all 7 inside a cab to the border at around midnight (it was hilarious and very Mexican style).

Eating at La Corriente (potato quality pic)
Eating at La Corriente (potato quality pic)

Week-long Tijuana Adventure complete. Now back to reality and my other jobs.

Want to have a Tijuana Advnture? Check the upcoming tours or personalize a tour of your own!! NEXT TIJUANA ADVENTURE, BEER FEST April 26th!

cerv

Saving Private French Guy

I was playing guitar in my favorite café which is hidden in the depths of some apartment building in Tijuana, when a random guy that looked like Luigi (from the videogames) walked in asking for work. His name was Alex and he was clearly not from the area. After a brief chat I learned that he was from Paris, he was traveling around the world and that his credit card, camera, laptop and more things were stolen in a hostel in San Francisco. He arrived in Tijuana because his visa in the USA had expired and he had to leave the country. I told him about Tijuana Adventure gave him my business card and offered my help.

A day later he called me asking for a place to stay. He reminded me of the first person I hosted, another French world traveler. Just like the rest of people that have joined me in many of my Tijuana adventures, he fell in love the city and hopes to visit it soon again.

He stayed in and out of my apartment for 2 weeks and also bounced back and forth between some of my friends, hotel rooms, other couchsurfing hosts and more. His adventures were more enthralling than those of Bilbo Baggins.

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Unfortunately, not that many pictures were saved from all the time he spent in Tj. The only pictures that were saved came from friends or other world travelers that we met, like Joaquin (Argentina) and Zoe (San Francisco) who were hitch-hiking to their way south in Mexico and beyond. Alex is also on his way south. He intends to spend two more weeks in Mexico before making his way to Costa Rica, from there he will fly to Sao Paulo (Brazil) and finally back home to France.

Edit: Forgot about uploading this video! More pics might come soon!

October Wrap Up! Three Tours and Medical Tours Now Open!

The first group came from Santa Barbara, Ca. They have already bought tickets to an all include spa in Rosarito, so it was never their intent to stay too long in Tijuana, but they still wanted to see a bit of the city. I met up with them by the arch in Tijuana and gave them a quick tour of downtown, we had some home-brewed beers at Mamut Co, followed by some of the best street tacos in the area. After that, I guided them to a collective cab that charges $1.25 to take them to their destination all the way in Rosarito (saving them over $30 in transportation and delivering with a true Tijuana experience).

Next was a photographer/videographer from Colima who ended up in Tijuana because he was hired to shoot a wedding. After his job was done, he decided to stay some time in TJ to check out the city. I gave him an extended tour of the city, took him to Playas de Tijuana and let him crash on my couch. I pretty much convinced him that he should move to Tijuana in the near future and I know that he will.

To finish up the month, one of my best friends from my hometown came to visit Tijuana. It was his girlfriend’s first time here and he hired me for private tours of the best parties, more specifically during Halloween. That night had an overwhelming number of parties and more than half the people on the street were wearing costumes. We went to Zacas bar near Zona Norte where DFMK and San Pedro el Cortez were playing a Halloween special. After the show, we bar hop for a while, showing them the very best of Tijuana, stopped by amazing tacos in handmade tortillas and finished up the night at Chips bar.

Also, to finish up the month, Tijuana Adventure is expanding from night time tours to more! Medical tours are now available for those who are in dire need of healthcare or dental care. Tijuana Adventure works with Club Medico USA to provide you with the best healthcare available at an affordable price. Tijuana is full of surprises, is not only the place to party all night, is also the host of the top doctors in Mexico and the world.